April 02, 2007

Illegal Immigrant Taxpayers

Immigrants, legal and illegal, should all be subject to paying taxes if they plan on collecting any benefits from this country:
"Most of our foreign nationals who are undocumented actually pay Social Security and Medicaid, which is money they may never see again," she said.

The IRS is not permitted to share information with immigration agencies, which allows illegal immigrants to pay taxes without fear of being caught and deported.

Former state representative Jim Welker stands on the anti-immigration side of the debate. He agrees, illegal immigrants pay taxes, even if it is just sales tax, but he says what they put in is overshadowed by what they take out.

"It hurts more than it helps," he said.
While it would be nice to quote figures, it is unclear how much legal or illegal immigrants pay into the system, and much uncertainty is involved in estimating how much is taken out of the system. Quote a liberal/activist group and they will assuredly guarantee that immigrants pay more taxes than they receive in benefits--and will also include the "incalculable" contribution that immigrants make to the American economy in the form of lower costs for producers and cheaper prices for consumers.

Approaching this problem with logic should indicate that among the subset of taxpayers that are illegal immigrants some are net taxpayers and others net receivers. Logic would also dictate that since illegal immigrants are "undocumented" that there is no small number that do not pay taxes at all, receiving their pay under the table, off the books. We can also conclude that the immigrants who commit crimes--other than being in this country illegally--that they would also have no incentive to obtain the necessary I-TIN and file their taxes.

If anything, the otherwise law-abiding, tax-filing immigrants simply provide a mere portion of the total amount of benefits paid out to illegal immigrants as a whole (housing, medical, education). Who foots the rest of the bill?

I think we all know the answer.